27 February 2014 A national “thanksgiving” service to celebrate the life and work of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who passed away in December, will be held at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday. The 1 000-year-old abbey has been England’s coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of 17 British monarchs. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will give an address at the service, which will be attended by Prince Harry, representing Queen Elizabeth II, the abbey said in a statement on Tuesday. Also in attendance will UK Prime Minister David Cameron, UK opposition leader Ed Miliband, and members of the Mandela family. Business Day reported on Thursday that South African President Jacob Zuma would not be attending the service due to work commitments, but that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe would be there at the head of a government delegation including at least two Cabinet ministers. Prince Harry’s attendance at Monday’s service will be a further sign of the deep respect for Mandela felt by the British royal family. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, had represented the Queen at Mandela’s funeral in Qunu. Both he and the Queen paid warm tribute to Mandela in statements issued following his death, Prince Charles describing him as an “embodiment of courage and reconciliation,” and the Queen praising Mandela’s achievements, saying he had “worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today”. SAinfo reporter
Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Centre and the State governments have been discussing new ways to eject foreigners after the “disappointment” with the National Register of Citizens (NRC).The final NRC published on Friday excluded 19,06,657 people from a total of 3.29 crore applicants. The excluded people are not technically foreigners, as they have legal options to challenge their status.“I don’t think this is the final list. There are many more to come,” Mr. Sarma said, adding that efforts were on to explore ways to ferret out more foreigners from the State.Assam’s indigenous people believe there are at 40 lakh foreigners or illegal immigrants in the State. The July 2009 petition in the Supreme Court that triggered the exercise claimed the State had 41 lakh foreigners.Mr. Sarma did not specify the measures being discussed, but one of the ways is believed to push the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to let the allegedly persecuted non-Muslims from India’s neighbourhood – Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – be absorbed as citizens.The final NRC exclusion list is believed to contain the names of many Hindu Bengali people, the BJP’s vote bank. The party has been unhappy with the final NRC. 19 lakh people left out of Assam’s NRC Final List. What next?Volume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9Live00:0001:5001:50 Watch | Assam’s NRC Final List is out
He was responding to concerns raised by Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, in relation to the disarming of the police by the oversight body. Imploring members of the security forces to obey the law, Dr. Phillips said, “I want to urge those who investigate them, including INDECOM, to be mindful of the circumstances in which they operate”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has said lawmakers would be taking steps to ensure that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) carries out its duties with “balance”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has said lawmakers would be taking steps to ensure that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) carries out its duties with “balance”.“We take the view that there really needs to be balance in how INDECOM operates… . I think this House which created the institution still retains the power. At some point, and I suspect it would have to be sooner than later, we will have to take some decisions to ensure that that very important institution operates with balance,” he said.He was responding to concerns raised by Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, in relation to the disarming of the police by the oversight body.The Prime Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on January 30.During the sitting, all 51 members of the House who were present voted in favour of the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018, which will extend the State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. James until May 2, 2018. The State of Public Emergency was declared on January 18.Imploring members of the security forces to obey the law, Dr. Phillips said, “I want to urge those who investigate them, including INDECOM, to be mindful of the circumstances in which they operate”.“If INDECOM has a problem with the members of the security forces, I don’t think they should disarm them in public, in full view of the citizens. I think it unnecessarily demoralises the men and women who are urged to obey the law, but who operate in what is a very dangerous situation on the street. There is literally a war that has been declared on society, and in that circumstance, you cannot weaken those who serve in the face of those who attack them,” said Dr. Phillips.The INDECOM is a Commission of Parliament, governed by the INDECOM Act. The Act was passed on April 15, 2010, and the Commission began operation on August 16, 2010.The INDECOM Act repealed the Police Public Complaints Act that established the Police Complaints Authority (PPCA), which was a civilian body established to probe allegations against members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).INDECOM is a civilian-staffed State agency tasked to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the security forces and other agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons.Members of the security forces and other agents of the State for which INDECOM provides oversight include the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), District Constables, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and the Correctional Officers at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). Story Highlights
CFB GAGETOWN, N.B. – Some of the world’s best snipers are gathered at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, to compete against their peers in an elite profession that is the stuff of movies and myths.“I thought it was the coolest thing in the world basically. I wanted to shoot people in the face and I got to do it,” said Sgt. Steven Thompson, of the United States Marines reserve.Thompson spent five years in the active forces, including two tours in Afghanistan, and said he was in the 19th annual Canadian International Sniper Concentration at this sprawling base in central New Brunswick to win.It includes teams from Canada, France, Australia, the Netherlands and the United States.Most of the snipers interviewed Friday took a more analytical approach to their task. Capt. John Bourgeois, officer in charge of the Canadian Forces Sniper Cell, said the event is both a competition and a chance to compare notes and improve skills.“The shooting part of being a sniper is the easy part. What we’re doing is challenging the snipers on every other part of being a sniper. They’re going to be required to navigate over 40 kilometres through deep, thick woods. They have timings to meet and plan their missions to get through this exercise. We’re going to push them to their limits,” he said.The event comes just three months after a Canadian Forces sniper set a record in Iraq for the longest confirmed kill at 3.5 kilometres.The shot killed one fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which the military said thwarted an attack on an Iraqi military unit.While that sniper has not been named, Bourgeois said the other snipers are proud of him, rather than jealous.Sgt. Ivan Sanson, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, agrees — but said it doesn’t diminish the competitive nature of snipers.“Everyone in the sniper community is very competitive. I think you have to be. It’s important that they strive to be the best,” he said.While most competitors are military, there are also snipers from the Halifax Regional Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Saint John Police Force.The Canadian Forces are primarily using two rifles, the .338 Timber Wolf and the Tac 50 — a .50 calibre weapon that was used to make the record shot in Iraq.The Saint John force is now also equipped with the .338.Saint John Const. Darren Milburn says his force will use it differently than the military because police tend to work in shorter distances.“We’re going to use ours more as an anti-material weapon — if we have to take an engine block out of a suspect vehicle. The military are using that calibre for extended range,” he said.The competitors used Friday to test their weapons and get them “zeroed in” before the competition starts Saturday.Bourgeois said the skills required to excel includes a lot of math.“They’ve got to know how far away the target is, they’ve got to know how big he is, they then determine the angle, the gravity, the atmospheric pressure, the wind, the temperature of the rifle, the temperature of the air, the angle of the sun, and time of day,” Bourgeois said.“The good guys here will factor those things in four or five seconds and take their shots.”The competition runs until Sept. 14.